When you hear about Blue Jay prospects these days, much of the talk revolves around players like Rowdy Tellez, Anthony Alford, Sean Reid-Foley, Conner Greene, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. This is to be expected, they’re all wonderful ball players, and with the exception of Guerrero and Greene, they’re also the most major league ready prospects in the Blue Jays organization. One Blue Jay prospect however that hasn’t received the same amount of attention is 21 year old outfielder Joshua Palacios.
Palacios was drafted in the 4th round of the 2016 MLB draft that took place last June and proceeded to put up a .330 AVG, .397 OBP in 50 games playing at three different levels in the minors last year. Prior to being drafted by the Blue Jays, Palacios spent one year at Auburn University where he hit for an impressive .385 AVG, .463 OBP, 5 HR, 23 RBI, and 12 SB in 34 games. Just to put those numbers into perspective, and for the fun of it, lets compare them with another famous Auburn alumni, Josh Donaldson. In three years at Auburn, Donaldson hit .307, .378 OBP in 158 games. While in his final and best year, he hit .349 AVG, .444 OBP, 11 HR, and 54 RBI in 55 games. Although still a good player in college, it’s important to understand that Donaldson has made some significant adjustments to his swing since he was at Auburn to become the player he is today. This comparison between Palacios and Donaldson does make one thing clear, and that’s just how advanced Palacios is as a hitter for such a young player.
In MLB’s 2017 ranking of the Top 30 Blue Jays prospects, Palacios ranked 15th. Pretty impressive, especially considering that he’s only ever played 50 games in the minor leagues. Players like Tellez, Alford, and Reid-Foley may be the prospects that are closest to making the jump to the big leagues, but when it comes to the best pure hitter that the Blue Jays have in the minor leagues, that title may very well have to go to Palacios.